Saturday, 15 February 2014

Meall Sanna

The wander along the beach at Sanna yesterday was lovely, but too easy, too unenergetic - so we decided to climb Meall Sanna, 176m.  The hill is part of a lumpy ridge which runs along the east side of the township, hemming it against the sea.  From whichever way you tackle it, it's a steep ascent - but then steep ascents are good because, every time you stop to draw breath, the view has changed.  This first picture was taken from about half way up and looks northeast across Lower Sanna to the islands of Muck and Rum....

....while this one looks more directly north, across Upper Sanna to the distinctive outline of Eigg.  By this time our car was no longer alone in the car park.

Taken while drawing breath again a little further up, this picture looks down on the flooding of the machair, with M.E.M. Donaldson's house at Sanna Beagh at left, and Portuairk across the bay.  Beyond the hill to the right of and behind Portuairk one of the CalMac ferries can be seen, with low-lying Coll beyond it.

A direct approach to the summit from the west side requires some rock climbing, so the last stage was achieved by skirting around the south side of the peak, and approaching it from the east.  From here, we looked into the great bowl of land formed by the Ardnamurchan volcano's ring dykes.  The hill in the middle distance is Beinn na h-Imeilte, and to its left the Sound of Mull and Mull itself can just be seen.

Meall Sanna is not to be outdone by other peaks in providing weary climbers with the opportunity for a drink once the summit is reached.  By this time the wind was fairly brisk, as can be seen from the water's ruffled surface.

For connoisseurs of Ardnamurchan's many cairns, the one at the top of Meall Sanna might be unkindly dismissed as a 'tourist's cairn', a jumble of rocks thrown down to commemorate another peak achieved.  This didn't prevent us adding to it, even though it isn't even at the summit.

We descended by the eastern face, with views across to Achnaha and the winding road that joins it to Sanna.  On the hills on the other side of the ring dykes the snow hadn't quite melted.

Half way down I slipped and fell, fortunately ending up on my rump with nothing damaged but my self-esteem.  It was a good, sharp reminder of the constant need to take care.


  1. Did you discover some new settings on your camera round about this time because the photos seem even more beautifully crystal clear than ever? Love the winter ones looking out to surrounding islands.

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Neil. I had had the present camera for about a year so, as you suggest, it must have been something to do with the editing in iPhoto. Photography is a constant learning experience. Jon